… the amazing butler with a dark side? Yana Toboso’s manga series Black Butler centers on the Earl of Phantomhive and his butler Sebastian. The story is set in a version of Victorian England touched by the supernatural, and the action ranges from elegant manors to seedy slums.
The Earl, Ciel, is a twelve-year-old boy who manages a great corporation as well as taking care of little … problems for Queen Victoria. Ciel’s parents died before the story begins, and he would be lost without his loyal butler. Sebastian has a knack for everything from cooking and cleaning to fighting and juggling. Sebastian’s exact nature and his connection to his master are slowly explained and expanded on over the course of the series.
The art in this series is beautiful, filled with intricate details and graceful movement. The stories cover some very dark topics, including drug abuse, murder, and human trafficking by both humans and otherworldly beings. This is lightened with humor ranging from slapstick antics to clever wordplay. All of the elements mesh to make a very enjoyable series.
Reviewed by Fran (staff)